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Kilroy in a veritable pickle over his new party's name

It had to happen. Just seven days after it was launched, Robert Kilroy-Silk's new political party, Veritas, is on the verge of its first legal battle.

One of the world's biggest IT companies, which also happens to be called Veritas, has instructed its lawyers to investigate Kilroy-Silk for possible breaches of trademark.

The multinational firm, which makes back-up software, is looking to protect both its company name and logo. Like the sign Kilroy's new party has chosen, the Veritas logo is printed in a serif font.

According to an insider, the company is worried about its brand values being "tarnished" by association with any political party, particularly a far-right one.

"We work with a number of public bodies and Government departments, so as you can imagine the unveiling of the current name and logo has gone down like a lead balloon," he said.

The software firm's official spokesman yesterday declined to comment on details of any legal action. "The direction we've been given is not to comment on this at the moment," she said. "I'm in constant updates with our legal teams here and in the States, but all I can say at the current time is that we are aware they are using the name."

Meanwhile, Kilroy's spokesperson (his wife Jan) switched her mobile telephone off when Pandora called.

A singer beset by religious doubts

THE ASIAN pop singer Deeyah, nicknamed the Muslim Madonna, flew into the charts last week amid reports that her new single upsets religious extremists.

In several newspaper and TV interviews, she claimed to have been targeted by Muslim gangs offended by her racy image.

The Muslim Council of Britain isn't convinced. Their spokesman reckons Deeyah, left, may not actually be a Muslim at all.

"Her real name is Deepika Thathaal. That's not a Muslim name: it's identifiably Hindu," he tells me. "We haven't heard any evidence of the attacks she talks about, and there is no independent witness. My suspicion is that this is a publicity stunt, timed to coincide with the release of her new single."

The pop star's management yesterday denied the charge: "I wish it were a publicity stunt, then she wouldn't have had to move house and get a bodyguard," I'm told.

Lembit's Paisley tie

LEMBIT OPIK'S marriage to weather girl Sian Lloyd looks like being one of the oddest celebrity weddings in recent years.

According to Hello! magazine - which will inevitably buy photos of the event - Opik's parliamentary colleague, the Unionist bulldog Rev Ian Paisley, is all set to preside at the service.

"I was talking to the Rev Ian Paisley during a recent vote, and jokingly said I was thinking he might be interested in doing the ceremony," explains Opik, pictured with Lloyd. "He replied: `That would be a great honour,' and grabbing my arm, added, `I'd tie that knot awful tight.'"

Paisley is not known for his sense of comedy, and seems to have taken Opik at his word. He'll need to be let down gently.

First among equals

JONATHAN AITKEN can feel upset that the Conservatives are prepared to look "sympathetically" at Lord Archer re-joining their party.

Last year, when Aitken expressed an interest in returning to the Tory fold, Michael Howard intervened, saying he wouldn't have anything to do with the former jailbird. So why are things different for Archer?

"It's all about money," reckons a CCO source. "Poor old Aitken has a fraction of the cash he once did, but Archer's still rolling in it. Howard's only prepared to have a convicted criminal back in if he's got a bit of brass."

Aitken was yesterday unavailable for comment, following the sad death of his mother. But I can't see him staying silent for long.

There are fears that Anthony Gormley's sculpture Bed - recently installed at Tate Britain - will become the latest piece of modern art to meet with a sticky end.

"It's a self-portrait, made from 8,000 pieces of toast," says one recent visitor. "From what I can see, the whole thing's going mouldy, though. I don't know how long it will last."

Fortunately, the Turner Prize-winning sculptor has already thought of that. "It went mouldy in the process of being made," he says when I call. "But it was then preserved in half a ton of paraffin wax, so it won't deteriorate."

pandora@independent.co.uk www.independent.co.uk/pandora

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